Charles Krauthammer: Romney Didn’t Lie Well Enough
Charles Krauthammer may be the only person in America who thinks Mitt Romney wasn’t enough of a shapeshifter:
Romney ran a solid campaign, but he is by nature a Northeastern moderate. He sincerely adopted the new conservatism but still spoke it as a second language.
So……………………….he “sincerely” changed who he was “by nature,” but didn’t sell it well enough? How do you “sincerely adopt” a new persona?
For most conservatives, the problem with Romney was that he wasn’t conservative enough. Krauthammer doesn’t seemed too troubled by the actual content of Romney’s character, just wishes Romney had masked it better. This makes a crazy sort of sense from the Republican point of view: they spent so much time convincing themselves that Obama was an empty suit who had duped a credulous electorate—Krauthammer credited Obama’s victory to his mastery of “the darker arts of public persuasion”—that they went out and got an empty suit themselves. If people want a protean talkbox who will say whatever the audience wants to here, then that’s what we’ll run! Alas, Mitt Romney’s “nature” proved too stubborn.
This is the inevitable result of the epistemic closure most recently diagnosed by Conor Friedersdorf: if you listen to your own spin too much, you start to believe it. Conservatives like Krauthammer so convinced themselves that they lost in 2008 to a public relations illusion that they ended up doing it again last Tuesday.